Researchers examine alternatives to power next-gen energy storage systems

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A team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame have analyzed how solid polymer for conducting magnesium ion electrolytes may be function in two battery systems. The findings of the study is published in Energy Material Advance.

Meanwhile, improvements in energy storage devices is required for further electrification of transportation and energy storage systems for renewable energy sources. In order to satisfy this demand, beyond-lithium-ion battery systems have receive attention. Within the beyond-ion-battery systems, magnesium metal batteries rechargeable type are attractive due to the vast availability of magnesium and the high volume capacity of magnesium metal anodes.

Ion battery systems consists two electrodes: Positive cathode and negative anode, typically a salt dispersed in a liquid or dissipated across a gel that connects the two. On application of charge to the electrode, an electrochemical reaction takes place that divides molecules into basic elements. Typically, the atomic ions and electron components travel separately to the opposite electrode to rejoin in a way that either releases energy to connected devices or takes in energy from a power source.

In fact, magnesium metal batteries composed of non-liquid electrolytes are not much studied as they lack interfacial chemistry. On the other hand, magnesium metal batteries containing liquid electrolyte are advantageous. Nonetheless, they exhibit the same issues that lithium-ion batteries exhibit pertaining to flammability, volatility, and possible leakage along with corrosion and reversibility problems.

The potential advantages of solid polymer electrolytes lie in their high thermal, electrochemical, and mechanical stability in comparison to liquid electrolytes as well as low cost and density relative to inorganic solid state electrolytes. Whilst solid polymers for conducting lithium ion have been widely studies, the availability of reports on successful versions of magnesium conducting ions are limited.

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